By Erin Riediger, Architectural Intern
‘This is not a bike shop, this is a culture bomb’
Plain Bicycle is a 6-part podcast mini-series that asks the question; can bicycle culture be imported?
The podcast follows a group of Canadians who travel to the Netherlands to fill a shipping container with second hand Dutch bicycles to bring home to Canada. Over the course of the podcast I speak to the Plain Bicycle Project team about developing the idea for the project and their experience collecting the bicycles and preparing them to meet their new owners. Herbert Tiemens, senior advisor on pedestrian and cycling policy for the province of Utrecht speaks about his role in the project and Dutch cycling culture. Modacity’s Melissa Bruntlett and Chris Bruntlett, Authors of Building The Cycling City: The Dutch Blueprint for Urban Vitality discuss their experiences moving from Vancouver to Delft and why we should look to the Dutch to build cities that encourage and support everyday cycling.
From the Netherlands to cyclists here in Winnipeg
Plain Bicycle investigates why cycling is so prevalent in the Netherlands, what Dutch bicycle culture is and how it may have the power to influence everyday transportation in North America.
Originally, I had planned for the podcast to be a 5-part mini-series, however as I was preparing and editing Plain Bicycle for release, the world was jolted by a global pandemic. COVID-19 changed the way we socialize, work and move around our city. A high demand for outdoor recreation space combined with a need for a safe alternative to public transportation resulted in a bike boom, that has been overwhelming cycle shops around the world.
The global bike boom as a result of COVID-19 inspired me to expand the series to include a sixth part; Bike Boom 2020 to investigate the heightened demand for bicycles and cycling infrastructure further and what it could mean for everyday cycling and the Plain Bicycle Project.
In Plain Bicycle Part 6 the Plain Bicycle Project team is in Europe, about to travel to Utrecht and load a third shipping container with second hand Dutch Bicycles bound for Canada when COVID-19 becomes a global health concern and international travel is brought to a grounding halt. Herbert Tiemens discusses his involvement in the project and the global renewed interest in cycling during COVID-19 times. Melissa Bruntlett and Chris Bruntlett discuss the recent bike boom and what needs to happen in cities to make cycling a viable form of transportation as we emerge from lockdown.
Listen on Soundcloud:
Also available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify & Sticher:
Erin is an Architectural Intern at Number TEN Architectural Group